Somewhere around my 6th or 7th year of college my father began to worry if I was EVER going to graduate and get a real job. Actually, I bet he started to worry well before that. He had gone to the University of Minnesota, where I was at the time enrolled, back in the 40's and finished an engineering degree for the Navy in 3 1/2 years so my extended plan made little sense to him. But after my eventual graduation it was on to law school, which he found a little more reassuring than I expected. "Law school? Good, there's an actual job associated with that. Right?" As it turns out I was really just making sure I would be around to have the same concerns about my own children, and maybe grandchildren, since it turns out the key a long life span is spending lots of time in school:
Hmmm, maybe it's time to think about that biology degree I've always wanted. Of course there may be an inverse correlation between education and parental health. I think if I were to announce I was going back to school again it just might do in my father.
The one social factor that researchers agree is consistently linked to longer lives in every country where it has been studied is education. It is more important than race; it obliterates any effects of income.
Year after year, in study after study, says Richard Hodes, director of the National Institute on Aging, education “keeps coming up.”
And, health economists say, those factors that are popularly believed to be crucial — money and health insurance, for example, pale in comparison.